Sunday’s readings really brought a lot of peace to my heart. I was becoming frazzled and confused with the state of everything in our world today: beheadings, bombings, Ebola, Ferguson, ISIS…. every time I got on Twitter some other news source had another shocking, terrible, the-world-is-ending calamity. And then we had the readings yesterday in Mass. St. Paul seemed to have dealt with this kind of demon before, this anxiety dragon, this depressing negativity, this sky-is-falling mentality. Suddenly, a reading which we’ve all heard so often
” Have no anxiety at all but in everything, with prayer and thanksgiving make your petition known to God…” (Phillipians 4:6)
Suddenly these lines leapt out at me more earnest than ever before:
“Whatever is true, Whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS.” (Phillipians 4:7-8)
Wow, I thought. Look at that. St. Paul just lays it out, give us the prescription what we should be occupying our thoughts with. That’s amazing! And if that’s what Saint Paul’s advice is, then I’m going to take it… because how can you argue with that advice? You can’t. Guess what? The world is always going to be a chaotic mess. Always. There’s Ebola now, but there was the Bird Flu then, and there was the Swine Flu… and Anthrax, and somehow we all kept moving on. There is violence in the Middle East, and there was the Holocaust, there was 9-11…evil always was, yet light always conquers. And I shall choose think about those things instead.
A visual aid (mostly for myself, but for all of you too!)
Whatever is TRUE
Whatever is HONORABLE
Whatever is JUST
Whatever is PURE
Whatever is LOVELY
Whatever is GRACIOUS
If there is any EXCELLENCE
If there is anything WORTHY OF PRAISE
Think about these things.